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Column: Where ‘haywire’ comes from

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The word “haywire” has of course come to represent a machine or situation that has ignored all of the three laws of conservation of energy and proceeded into chaos.


As laws go, there should be another one, which would state: “Any situation with more than one moving part has a tendency to go haywire.”

And it will indeed do so, likely as soon as someone pats themselves on the back and says something stupid, like, “There. Everything’s running smoothly.”

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